After extensively shopping around the demos for his third album, Matthew Sweet finally landed a deal with Zoo, who released Girlfriend in 1991. It’s fine songcraft, scintillating guitars from Television’s Richard Lloyd and Lou Reed alumnus Robert Quine—now chiming, now gouging—and deep understanding of pop music forms made it an underground success that poked its nose into the light when the title-track was a minor hit.

Boasting surging power pop (‘Divine intervention’), evocative country rock (‘Your sweet voice’), and stinging ‘alt-pop’ (‘Does she talk?’), Girlfriend is infused with melancholy and disrupted by bursts of angry jangle and spite. It’s a fabulous album.

Girlfriend Goodfriend Matthew Sweet

Goodfriend was a promo disc, released a year later. A rarity at the time, it was paired with its, er, partner, and re-issued as part of Sony’s Legacy series in 2006. Good friend enriches appreciation of the original with well-crafted demos, coruscating live performances and deft covers. Even the cover is deft.

When Goodfriend came out on double-vinyl for RSD 2016, I was excited. From the layered acoustic guitars on ‘Divine Intervention’ to the live Crazy Horse rumble of ‘Cortez the killer’, this is a curiosity worth having, even for those less partial to Sweets than me.

Goodfriend RSD 2016


#200wordchallenge courtesy Mr Mike Ladano

Vinyl Connection’s other Matthew Sweet piece is here


  1. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Power pop, Quine and Lloyd? Too few words Bruce, too few words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your Majesty is like a cream donut.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know Girlfriend well enough but never heard of the promo demo disc before! Very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. The demos are good and the live stuff excellent.


  4. Better deft than daft!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too right, Sugarcube!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know anything about this release last RSD. Now I feel empty inside. Time to head over to Discogs.

    One of my favorites here. I don’t think Sweet ever reached these heights again. ‘Blue Skies On Mars’ was a pretty great album, but nothing like ‘Girlfriend’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I picked my copy up (new) at a local record store quite a while after RSD, so there may be some copies floating around ‘in the wild’, JH. Goodforaging!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sold to the man late to the party but thinking “jings! Demos!? RSD!?”. Like JH, I’m gonna have a look at Discogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is a nice little double album. And isn’t that line drawing version of the original cover just great?


      1. It is! I actually can’t believe I didn’t comment on that!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Know nothing of Matthew Sweet and was thus doubly ignorant of the Robert Quine connection. Love Quine from the Voidoids and Dim Stars and so kept thinking I’d stream this one and then come back here to tell you all about it. Still harbor the intent but decided not to further put off the commenting. Between Quine, Lloyd and the decision to cover Cortez the Killer, I am highly intrigued about this Sweet person. Oh hell, I’m just going to go listen right now …

    (P.S. I pine for the next blog collectivist challenge that again pulls you back to the keyboard!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I write this, I’m noticing the first sunny morning for a few days and thinking not about a walk in the park but about taking some photos for an almost completed article/interview with Matthew Bourne…
      And, in passing, can I acknowledge and express delight in seeing such a long series of b&w baby heads in the Comments side-bar?


  8. ‘Holy War’ is a CB fave.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] bloggers took up that challenge, with interesting results. Vinyl Connection’s contributions are here and […]


Comments and responses welcome for all posts: present or past. Please join in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: